According to the CDC, 1 in 2 people will develop osteoarthritis by the age of 85. That’s not surprising if we take into account that joint pain associated with arthritis is quite common. The same report states that in a period between 2010 and 2012, about 52.5 million US adults had some form of arthritis. It’s estimated that by 2040, 78 million Americans will suffer from joint pain and arthritis. That’s a staggering number, don’t you think? Painful joints affect the overall quality of life, limit our flexibility, and make it harder to perform things you used to do with ease. Fortunately, there are many ways to relieve the pain including the application of topical menthol analgesics. This article brings the useful information you should know about these products and how they help you ease the pain.
1. They’re versatile
In most cases, relieving joint pain requires anti-inflammatory painkillers or medicines that work to tackle inflammation and ease the pain. They can be taken by mouth in the form of pills, capsules, or liquids, and it’s also possible to purchase topical products. Topical menthol analgesics belong to the group of pain relievers formulated to treat joint pain or pain caused by injuries. These products are available in the form of a gel, gel patches, spray, or foams.
2. They’re different from other types of painkillers
Topical menthol analgesics are different from painkillers to take by mouth, but not just in their form. They also work differently. First, it’s important to mention that most these products work by inhibiting the effect of chemicals that are involved in inflammation and pain sensation. When you take a pill, it works on your entire system. On the other hand, when you apply a topical menthol analgesic, it only works onto the affected area.
When you use a gel, it’s quickly absorbed into the skin and move deeper into the areas of the body where there’s inflammation e.g. your joints. They work to relieve pain and reduce swelling. That said, applying a topical preparation means that the total amount of anti-inflammatory ingredients in the organism is very low. In turn, you also have a low risk of experiencing adverse effects, which is particularly useful for people who are taking medications for some chronic disease as well.
3. Science says they work
You have probably wondered whether topical menthol analgesics are, indeed, effective for the joint pain relief, and you’ll be happy to know that there’s a growing body of evidence confirming their efficacy. For example, a study whose findings were published in the Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy revealed that menthol gels were more effective than placebo in relieving knee pain associated with osteoarthritis (OA). The research included 20 participants with knee OA who had to complete two data collection visits one week apart. Results showed that participants who applied menthol gel experienced benefits with certain assignments they had to do during the study such as descending the stairs, six-minute walk, and so on. Menthol Gel also decreased the intensity of pain.
4. Menthol gels contain powerful ingredients
As you can see, these gels are very effective in pain relief, and they also allow you to be more flexible. The reason behind the efficacy is a powerful formula with potent ingredients, such as:
Counterirritants – menthol, methyl salicylate, and camphor. They produce the burning or cooling sensation which distracts your mind from the feeling of pain
Capsaicin – primarily found in hot chili peppers, dubbed as one of the most potent pain relievers in nature
Salicylates – same ingredients that give aspiring its pain-relieving properties. They are particularly beneficial with pain that affects joints close to the skin such as knees, elbows, and fingers.
5. Easy to use
Apply a thin layer of topical menthol analgesic on the affected area no more than 3 to 4 times a day. Make sure you rub the preparation gently and thoroughly, then wash your hands. Of course, you shouldn’t apply the gel on the irritated or injured skin. Also, don’t use a bandage or wrap around the area. This is where most people make mistakes; they apply the gel and wrap the affected joint, but it’s strongly recommended not to do it. Why? It’s because of that way, your skin has less active ingredients to absorb due to the fact the bandage picks them up. Plus, wrapping the affected area increases the risk of side effects.
Due to its ease of use, menthol analgesics in topical form belong to the group of natural and practical solutions for joint pain along with dietary supplements like Instaflex and low impact exercises.
6. No risk of overdose
Topical preparations carry low risks of overdose, unlike medications and pills. Most of these products are only applied when you feel pain, there’s no particular time when to rub them onto the painful joints. It’s also important to mention that some products, especially when prescribed by doctors, should be applied at a certain time but it’s highly unlikely to overdose on topical treatment for joint pain.
7. More efficient than ice pack
One of the most common tips that individuals with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis or some other type of joint pain here are to apply ice pack on the painful area. Indeed, ice numbs the pain and reduces its severity. But, the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy published a study which found that compared to ice, the topical menthol-based analgesic decreased perceived discomfort to a greater extent. According to a study, topical menthol analgesics have more potential to help reduce pain.
Menthol-based topical preparations have a tremendous potential to help reduce pain and discomfort in individuals with joint pain. This article listed seven useful things you should know about these products or reasons why they can help you. Consult your healthcare provider about gels you can use and bear in mind they’re not suitable for individuals with aspirin allergies.
Annie Lizstan works as a health and beauty consultant for online websites and an independent researcher by profession. She had completed her studies from university of Arizona and live in Wasilla, Alaska. She always like to explore her ideas about health, fitness and beauty . In her recent period ,she got an opportunity to explore Glozine lifestyle news. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.